Hoshana Raba (Tishri 21, 5771) September 2, 1010

Posted: September 28, 2010 in Feast of Tabernacles, Feasts of the LORD

Leviticus 23:39, “Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land,  shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day [shall be] a sabbath,  and on the eighth day [shall be] a sabbath.”

During the times of the Temple, Jerusalem was known at “The Light of the World”. In the Court of the women were 4 enormous candlesticks with 4 golden bowls at the top of each. They were 75′ high! They used worn out priestly garments for wicks that they had cut into strips and would pour in oil from 7 gal buckets. Four young priests-in-training would climb to the top, carrying immense oil jugs with which they would fill the bowls. Once lighted, there was not a courtyard in all of Jerusalem that did not glow with the light that emanated from the celebration in the Temple courtyard. (In another reference it says each bowl held 10 gallons of fresh oil)

For the cememony of the 7th Day, the Priests were put into 3 groups: The First group was responsible for the daily sacrifices.

The Second group was headed by the High Priest went out the Water Gate to the Pool of Siloam which had “Living Water”! One assistant had a silver pitcher of wine (silver representing redemption). At dawn, the assembly proceeded with melody and song to the spring of Siloam, at the foot of the walls of Jerusalem.  There the high priest had a golden vase (representing royalty, divinity) and drew the water known as the living water (mayim hayim) and held it in the vase. His assistant held a silver vase containing wine. The high priest took the special golden decanter and filled it with the living water.

This ceremony with prayers represents asking God, who is in charge of the rain, would grant the rainfall for the next  year. When the water was being poured they would sing, “When the water was poured they would be singing, “Save now, I pray, O Lord, O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 118:25-26) The day is named after thier cry, Hosheana (“save now”) which was repeated 7 times.

The Third Group of priests went out to the Beautiful Gate to the Matzah Valley and cut willow branches 25-30′ in length. Like a parade they would form rows of priests 30′ apart waving the branches. At the same time both groups would meet with the water and branches and march back to the Temple. This was symbolic of the Spirit coming to Jerusalem (the living water and the spirit were coming at the same time)

Then certain priests would blow their trumpets and all the Levites and people waved palm branches while singing from Psalm 113-118. Those carrying the long branches would make a “swishing sound” as they waved them back and forth. This represented the Ruach (spirit) wind.

Once they arrived at their gates a priest known as “the pierced one” played a flute calling for the Wind and Water to enter the Temple. (Zech 12:10; John 19:34)

Then the congregation with the Second Group of Priests ascended again to the Temple, led by the high priest who bore the golden vessel. Arriving at the Temple, he brought the decanter up to the altar, and poured the water into the silver cup at its corner. Another priest poured out wine from the other decanter into the cup at the opposite corner. 

Before they reached the altar with the water they turned to face the altar and remembered Ezekiel 8:16, “So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.”

Special Commandment of the Willow

The worshipers would place exceptionally long willow branches from Motza, on the outskirts of Jerusalem all along the foundations of the altar with the heads bent over the top.  This daily ritual was accompanied by trumpet blasts and the sounding of the shofar by the priests and Levites.  The priest would circle the altar once each day holding the lulavin and praying to the Almighty, the 7th day they would circle 7 times remembering the walls of Jericho.

We find a record of what Jesus said on Hoshana Raba, as the water was being poured out on the altar. John 7:37, “On the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”(39) But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.” 

Here Jesus is making a bold statement, “I am your Hosanna, I am your Salvation. I will give you living waters of the Spirit. Jesus came to satisfy a spiritual thirst that could be quenched no other way. The Pool of Siloam is called “sent” and Jesus was the “sent one”.  John 7:16, “Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” (John 7:28, 29, 33)  (The word ‘sent‘ is the Greek word Apostello, where we get the word apostle)

  1. Jo Ann Anderson says:

    Very educational and interesting. Thanks so much

  2. Nikki Heitzeberg says:

    Thank you so much for your deep digging into the things and teachings of the Lord. They are such a blessing to me. I love the richness!

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